Mediation: Both sides sit down with a federal mediator and try to work out our differences to come to a final product. Give and take is part of every contract and the mediator is there to smooth the process and give us an outside perspective to find a resolution. We get 2 of these before we can go to Arbitration.
Arbitration: We have non-binding Arbitration. Much like mediation arbitration is where we sit down with a third party. But instead of the give and take, it is more like a legal presentation. We present our side of the contract with justification, the District does the same, then both teams have 30 days to submit briefs refuting the other positions during the hearing. Then the Arbitrator goes to their neutral corner and comes up with their assessment of both contracts and their solution. Basically an outline of what they think the contract should be. We can either take it or not. We can start bargaining again using it. We have a lot of options. So does the District. But the rules pre covid were that we have to meet one more time after the report before they can impose or we can call a strike vote
Imposition: This is where it can get ugly. At this point if one or both sides reject the Arbitrators decisions OR 90 days from the date our Arbitrator was chosen, than the District can impose their last best contract offer. Which at this point is their second and you can download that below. That is where we have a Strike Vote
Strike Vote: Strike vote will happen in each building by paper ballot. Tabulated in our office. The board will be there along with Building Representatives. This does NOT start a work action but gives CEA the option to strike if need be. EVERYONE gets to vote. Member and Non-Member. If the bargaining unit chooses to strike we will notify the District and hopefully get back to the table and hammer out a deal.
Strike: We do not want a strike. This whole process is about avoiding a work action. But with the authorization given to us by a positive strike vote, and with no further concessions by the District, CEA board of Directors will schedule a work stoppage date. We do not get paid during the work stoppage (Including your officers and President). Part of the Return to work agreement will be back pay. NEA-Alaska has provisions for this, (No interest short term loans) to help us makes ends meet. We will NEVER stop negotiating! Kenai Peninsula came to a contract solution hours before the strike started (Enough so one school didn't get the message and started. lol)
NEA-Alaska has been with us from the beginning on this. Especially with all the covid money floating around; it has been very important to have experts following that money and how it has been spent. NEA-Alaska will also have "boots on the ground" During the process of the vote and NEA National jumps into the battle with us if we strike with personnel, expertise and money for supplies, and voices at our multiple locations.
I, as your President and past bargaining team member saw this coming and created a "Strike Fund" for our own supplies, creating options for our members to get fed on the picket lines and also to start cooking meals for those who need it.
We are constantly thinking inside and outside the box on this; hoping it never happens. But WE are not alone. Our teachers will support us! NEA-Alaska is backing us and is here with us for the duration and NEA National is watching and supporting us as well. Remember the goal! Wages that we can support our families on, great health insurance that keeps us out of bankruptcy, and a contract that will protect our rights into the future.
FULL BARGAINING UPDATES: 8/14/2023 Arbitration report is in and it wasn't great for us but we can work with it. That is available for download at the top of the page
Our next Bargaining session will be August 31st where we will offer more proposals to the district for wages, premiums and health insurance. We will know then if they truly want to bargain with us or just dictate their terms and impose. What do you think they will do?
Welcome back to school!
The teachers were imposed upon in the spring and recently went back to the table. They agreed on another 3% for three years, $10,000 for the HSA (that many do not qualify for) and the Mimic C plan health plan for the length of the contract for all teachers.
We are still waiting for the Arbitration report and the district has asked to meet with us. Part of negotiations in the spring was the agreement to not impose on us until the arbitration report returned. So we are in a holding pattern since the report was due two weeks ago.
The district and bargaining team met on Wednesday, April 26, 2023, at that time the CEA was expecting to discuss Premium pay and getting an update from 1992 language that has not been addressed.
At that time, the district requested CEA apply for an extension to renew the PEHT insurance plan for FY24.
The district was aware that this was EXTRAORDINARILY late in the process for such a request, giving CEA just 53 hours to receive an answer. As the language and discussion developed the district used vailed terms such as “Substantial Change in Circumstances” and “Regressive Bargaining”.
However, the conversation around possible Premera plans and financial gains seemed promising. CEA requested and received the response from PEHT on Thursday morning. This extension would be granted until May 12 but would have not allowed plan design changes that the Health Insurance committee had voted to make, resulting in About $41,000 in additional costs to our members.
This cost, with the district’s 11th-hour request for more time, when they had months to have these conversations, would have been too much of a burden on our members that are already suffering from EXTREMELY out of touch wages. As such, CEA has declined to take the extension.
The district contends that if we abandon our current healthcare and all control of future healthcare, we would be giving ourselves a raise. The district thinks that $0.75 is what is a fair and reasonable pay increase when CPI is more than 4% and when every other employer is starting to pay at a greater rate than the Educators that are working in our buildings.
They have decided that the Administration receives Performance Bonuses equal to the pay of a Special Education Assistance ANNUAL salary. That the Superintendent deserves raises and bonuses for keeping the schools open, when it was US, all of US that were in the buildings, fighting Covid, fighting to keep kids learning from home, fighting to keep the buildings sanitized while dealing with a staffing crisis BECAUSE of the wages, and stressful environment that the district has created and refuses to address. We are committed to setting these transgressions right! Building a road that restores an environment that we can be proud of.
As the largest employer in the Matsu, the administration’s actions have artificially caused the staffing crisis that Administration tells the school board doesn’t exist. We know there are no subs. We know Para-educators are being placed in classrooms to cover for teaching staff that has no substitute. We need the school board to visit schools and talk to the staff that is struggling to maintain the toxic environment they preside over, the environment that SOME of the leadership in MSBSD have cultivated.
Of course, two days before Arbitration the district decides to change their proposal. .75 the first year, retro. than 2% the following 2. They still want to self insure, placing us in Premera's HDHP plan with a bump up to $10,000 for the Health savings plan over three years. (Original offer was $4500 over 3 years) The last year of the contract being $1500. The deductibles and out of pockets staying the same as their original offer. (Download both plans above) The wrinkle they offered was a plan that "mimics" PEHT C plan with rates frozen the 2nd and 3rd year of the contract. With absolutely no guarantees of availability for the next contract. The language also removes CEA's right to choose our own health care provider and gives that to a committee that includes 2 people from Administration, 2 from the Principals, 2 from midlevel management. And would also include 2 from CEA. The goal is to remove us from PEHT and our rights to choose our providor so they can eventually completely control our health care and the Data it provides. Once this happens in their own words "We can do what we want".
We have an Arbitrator. Teachers are at the table today and tomorrow presenting their case. We are actively working for our dates to sit down and do the same.
12/7/2022 After further discussion with the District negotiators, including their decision that there is no way forward with us maintaining our health insurance and a cap on wage increases that still keeps all of us WAY under the current inflation rates; our team has decided that Arbitration will be our next step. The association is always open and available for discussion and new proposals that may lead to advancement in the goal of reaching a ratifiable agreement. 10/26/2022 Mediation was good but no tentative agreements. (T/A) Discussions about wages and Health insurance were interesting but at the end of the day unfruitful.
District still has a hard time understanding that with inflation at an all time high and the rise in wages throughout the valley that a .50 raise is not going to keep our members employed, or even put gas in our cars. And when your job gives you a $20,000 bonus it's easy to understand why they don't understand us or our needs. Fortunately the contract negotiators before us emplaced language in our contract that protects us from the district predation on our health insurance and collective bargaining is going to get us meaningful wage increases.
We have requested documents from the district and are waiting those before scheduling our next mediation. Stay tuned to the Newsletters for more information as the process moves on.
3/18/2022 Happy Friday!!
Your bargaining team spent yesterday afternoon listening to the District's health insurance proposal. The HSA payment from the district is $1500, Here we go!
Individual Deductible = $1500, Individual Out of Pocket =$7000 Family Deductible = $3000, Out of pocket = $14000
Dental = $75 Indv. and $225 Fam Deductible 100% Preventative, 80% Basic, 50% Major $3000 PCY Max Vision = $25 Vision Exam Co-Pay, $300 Vision Hardware each year covered in full No other discounts.
Rx wasn't formally in the presentation paperwork but it is $0 coverage till the deductible is paid, then a 20/80 split. That means we pay the full cost of all our prescriptions till we meet the deductible of $1500/$7000
Savings (this years numbers) EMPLOYEE ANNUAL PREMIUM SAVINGS
Plan A/B | Plan C/B | Plan F/B $4,737 $2,760 $732
Plus all protections in the contract giving us a say in future insurance changes are revoked. Meaning once we leave, we have to bargain for the right to change three years down the road.
Any questions? Ask away!!
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3/1/2022 We swapped proposals today. Side by side is below along with Initial proposals. Typical first proposals, lot's of work ahead of us. Full Contract proposals are at the bottom.